Grammy Awards to Include Mass Wedding Ceremony Destined to Ignite Controversy (UPDATE: Clip of Wedding Added)

UPDATE, 11:53 p.m.: Clip of song/wedding ceremony added at bottom of post.

Original story below

If you tune into the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, you’ll catch the usual suspects — Katy Perry, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, etc. — dressed to the nines and performing onstage.

But rather than rip roarin’ guitar solos or over-the-top vocal gymnastics, Monday morning water-cooler conversations may focus on the program’s planned social-consciousness segment: A wedding ceremony for 34 couples of differing ages and races — including same-sex couples, according to the New York Times.

In this Dec. 6, 2013 file photo, Ryan Lewis, left, and Macklemore pose backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live! at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (Image source: AP/Richard Shotwell/Invision)

The wedding ceremony is slated to coincide with hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of their Grammy-nominated tune “Same Love,” which became an anthem for same-sex marriage equality last year…and led to some controversy.

Lewis told the Times that the mass wedding represents “the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”

“We’re serious about this,” Ken Ehrlich, longtime producer of the Grammys, told the Times.

Also on hand will be Queen Latifah (to officiate the nuptials) and Madonna, who will perform on the song along with its featured vocalist, Mary Lambert.

Do Grammy organizers expect controversy, from gay-marriage opponents as well as those who might view the segment as taking a less-than-serious approach to a serious issue?

“I expect that people with all kinds of opinions might voice them, and that’s healthy,” Neil Portnow, the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, told the Times.

More from the Times:

At a wedding rehearsal on Saturday afternoon here at the Staples Center, the couples marched up and down the aisles several times as producers tested lighting and music cues. As the song’s warm piano chords filled the arena and the couples held hands in place, hardened entertainment executives and crew members teared up.

The producer’s planning of the segment showed how delicate the subject of gay marriage can be. Mr. Ehrlich, who learned of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s onstage proposals from his daughter, who is gay, said that the segment reflected his own personal beliefs. “But,” he was quick to add, “I would not want to make a broad statement that it represents the views of the academy or the CBS television network.”

Here’s the Grammy clip of “Same Love” along with the wedding ceremony (content warning — some strong language):

(H/T: Drudge Report)